Tom Udall Honors SFC Leroy Petry

Tom Udall Honors SFC Leroy Petry


I rise today as our nation honors the bravery
and sacrifice of Santa Fe native Leroy Arthur Petry, an Army Ranger who in 2008 risked his
life to save his fellow soldiers on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Today Sergeant First Class Petry will be honored
for his ìconspicuous gallantryî with our nationís highest military decoration ñ the
Medal of Honor. I will be humbled to be at the White House
along with Sergeant First Class Petryís family, friends and fellow soldiers as President Obama
honors him with the Congressional the Medal of Honor. It will be a special day for Sergeant First
Class Petry, for his wife and children and all his family, and for his fellow Americans,
as he becomes only the second living, active-duty service member to receive the Medal of Honor
for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Petryís story is one
of courage and sacrifice and immense love of country. Itís a story that began years ago in Santa
Fe with a young man who struggled in high school but refused to give up, to drop out,
and instead buckled down, dug deep, and found the hero within. A hero to the men he saved
on that fateful day in Afghanistan, and a hero to all Americans who owe their freedoms
to our brave men and women in uniform. Itís the story of that day in May of 2008
that Iíd like to tell you about today. Sergeant First Class Petry was a member of
the 75th Ranger Regiment when he and his fellow Rangers were deployed to capture a high-value
target in Afghanistan. During their raid, they were engaged in a firefight with the
enemy when several in their regiment were pinned down by grenades. Petry had already been wounded by bullet fire,
shot through both legs by a hidden enemy. But Petry didnít allow his wounds to stop
him as the battle raged on. Pinned inside a courtyard with a fellow Ranger, he continued
the fight, calling in support and creating a brief pause in enemy fire by throwing a
grenade their way. One enemy grenade exploded within 10 yards
of Petry and a group of Rangers. The explosion knocked the Rangers down and wounded two members
of the team. Soon after the first grenade exploded, the
insurgents threw a second. This time the grenade landed near two of Petryís comrades. With
no thought to his personal safety, Petry grabbed the grenade and attempted to toss it away.
The grenade exploded as he tossed it, taking Petryís hand with it ñ but saving the lives
of those near him. Now, losing a hand would have been enough
to break most people. But not Sergeant First Class Petry. Instead, he calmly inspected
his wound, stemmed the flow of blood with a tourniquet, and continued the fight ñ helping
to pin down the insurgents until they could be killed. It was this immense act of bravery that saved
the lives of his brothers-in-arms. In fact, one of his fellow Rangers, Sergeant Daniel
Higgins, wrote in a statement about that day: ëIf not for Staff Sergeant Petryís actions,
we would have been seriously wounded or killed.í On that fateful day in 2008, then-Staff Sergeant
Petry was no stranger to service to his country. He was on his eighth deployment in support
of U.S. operations overseas; his sixth in Afghanistan after two tours in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Petryís life of heroic
service was based in humble beginnings. A 1998 story in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper
featured a then 18-year-old Petry. The young man was a senior at St. Catherine Indian School
ñ the institutionís final graduating class. He was also a recipient of the ìBootstrapî
award, which honored area high school seniors who had committed to improving themselves
and their community. Hereís what the teacher who nominated him
wrote: ëWith a record of fights, suspensions, and ditching school, Petry realized that he
was on a path that led nowhere. He tried harder in school and appreciated how it felt to make
his parents proud.í From a ëpath to nowhereí to a ëpath to
historyí as a national hero ñ Sergeant First Class Petry is an inspiration for all young
people who are struggling to find their place in the world, to young people who may be considering
giving up and taking a more destructive path. Three years after his heroic actions on the
battlefield, Sergeant First Class Petry continues to give back to his country and his fellow
soldiers. As a liaison officer for the U.S. Special Operations Command Care Coalition
in Washington State, Sergeant First Class Petry provides a helping hand and much-needed
resources to wounded soldiers, ill and injured servicemembers, and their families. Hereís what Leroyís father, Larry Petry,
said of his son in a recent interview with a local New Mexico television station: ëHeís
really overwhelmed by this. He keeps saying, ëDad, I was just doing my job. Any other
soldier would have done it.íí I think weíll all agree with what his father said in return:
ëWell, son, you did something great, and they really want to honor you for that.í Despite all the attention and recognition
brought by this award, Petry ñ like so many of those brave warriors before him ñ remains
humble. A recent posting on his Facebook page reads: ëThe award is bigger than the person
Ö and I will always remember that.í New Mexico has a long and proud tradition
of military service ñ exemplified in the heroic actions of Sergeant First Class Leroy
Petry on the battlefields of Afghanistan. To Sergeant First Class Petryís wife Ashley
and their four children, to his mother and father and siblings and extended family, I
know I speak for the people of New Mexico ñ and all of America ñ when I offer the
thanks of a grateful nation.
You sacrificed time with your loved one so he could bravely serve our country. Along
with Sergeant First Class Petry, you are ALL heroes in our eyes. Sergeant First Class Petry is highly deserving
of this honor, and New Mexico is honored to call him a native son. I rise today as our nation honors the bravery
and sacrifice of Santa Fe native Leroy Arthur Petry, an Army Ranger who in 2008 risked his
life to save his fellow soldiers on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Today Sergeant First Class Petry will be honored
for his ìconspicuous gallantryî with our nationís highest military decoration ñ the
Medal of Honor. I will be humbled to be at the White House
along with Sergeant First Class Petryís family, friends and fellow soldiers as President Obama
honors him with the Congressional the Medal of Honor. It will be a special day for Sergeant First
Class Petry, for his wife and children and all his family, and for his fellow Americans,
as he becomes only the second living, active-duty service member to receive the Medal of Honor
for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Petryís story is one
of courage and sacrifice and immense love of country. Itís a story that began years ago in Santa
Fe with a young man who struggled in high school but refused to give up, to drop out,
and instead buckled down, dug deep, and found the hero within. A hero to the men he saved
on that fateful day in Afghanistan, and a hero to all Americans who owe their freedoms
to our brave men and women in uniform. Itís the story of that day in May of 2008
that Iíd like to tell you about today. Sergeant First Class Petry was a member of
the 75th Ranger Regiment when he and his fellow Rangers were deployed to capture a high-value
target in Afghanistan. During their raid, they were engaged in a firefight with the
enemy when several in their regiment were pinned down by grenades. Petry had already been wounded by bullet fire,
shot through both legs by a hidden enemy. But Petry didnít allow his wounds to stop
him as the battle raged on. Pinned inside a courtyard with a fellow Ranger, he continued
the fight, calling in support and creating a brief pause in enemy fire by throwing a
grenade their way. One enemy grenade exploded within 10 yards
of Petry and a group of Rangers. The explosion knocked the Rangers down and wounded two members
of the team. Soon after the first grenade exploded, the
insurgents threw a second. This time the grenade landed near two of Petryís comrades. With
no thought to his personal safety, Petry grabbed the grenade and attempted to toss it away.
The grenade exploded as he tossed it, taking Petryís hand with it ñ but saving the lives
of those near him. Now, losing a hand would have been enough
to break most people. But not Sergeant First Class Petry. Instead, he calmly inspected
his wound, stemmed the flow of blood with a tourniquet, and continued the fight ñ helping
to pin down the insurgents until they could be killed. It was this immense act of bravery that saved
the lives of his brothers-in-arms. In fact, one of his fellow Rangers, Sergeant Daniel
Higgins, wrote in a statement about that day: ëIf not for Staff Sergeant Petryís actions,
we would have been seriously wounded or killed.í On that fateful day in 2008, then-Staff Sergeant
Petry was no stranger to service to his country. He was on his eighth deployment in support
of U.S. operations overseas; his sixth in Afghanistan after two tours in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Petryís life of heroic
service was based in humble beginnings. A 1998 story in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper
featured a then 18-year-old Petry. The young man was a senior at St. Catherine Indian School
ñ the institutionís final graduating class. He was also a recipient of the ìBootstrapî
award, which honored area high school seniors who had committed to improving themselves
and their community. Hereís what the teacher who nominated him
wrote: ëWith a record of fights, suspensions, and ditching school, Petry realized that he
was on a path that led nowhere. He tried harder in school and appreciated how it felt to make
his parents proud.í From a ëpath to nowhereí to a ëpath to
historyí as a national hero ñ Sergeant First Class Petry is an inspiration for all young
people who are struggling to find their place in the world, to young people who may be considering
giving up and taking a more destructive path. Three years after his heroic actions on the
battlefield, Sergeant First Class Petry continues to give back to his country and his fellow
soldiers. As a liaison officer for the U.S. Special Operations Command Care Coalition
in Washington State, Sergeant First Class Petry provides a helping hand and much-needed
resources to wounded soldiers, ill and injured servicemembers, and their families. Hereís what Leroyís father, Larry Petry,
said of his son in a recent interview with a local New Mexico television station: ëHeís
really overwhelmed by this. He keeps saying, ëDad, I was just doing my job. Any other
soldier would have done it.íí I think weíll all agree with what his father said in return:
ëWell, son, you did something great, and they really want to honor you for that.í Despite all the attention and recognition
brought by this award, Petry ñ like so many of those brave warriors before him ñ remains
humble. A recent posting on his Facebook page reads: ëThe award is bigger than the person
Ö and I will always remember that.í New Mexico has a long and proud tradition
of military service ñ exemplified in the heroic actions of Sergeant First Class Leroy
Petry on the battlefields of Afghanistan. To Sergeant First Class Petryís wife Ashley
and their four children, to his mother and father and siblings and extended family, I
know I speak for the people of New Mexico ñ and all of America ñ when I offer the
thanks of a grateful nation. You sacrificed time with your loved one so he could bravely
serve our country. Along with Sergeant First Class Petry, you are ALL heroes in our eyes. Sergeant First Class Petry is highly deserving
of this honor, and New Mexico is honored to call him a native son.

3 thoughts on “Tom Udall Honors SFC Leroy Petry

  1. why does every good thing done in this country have to be turned into a ridicule game? I'm so tired of reading people try to say we went into Iraq for oil. If you didnt go there and think you know: STFU! You've done nothing to say what you do but I have brothers n sisters who've died for your right to shat on their graves… try me… I'll put u in the graveyard next to them

  2. @Dero684 check out his fucking page. all he does is spew hate towards everything US with childish rants about oil. everyone should report all his bullshit as spam.

  3. Hooah! SFC Petry! Hooah! "I will always place the mission first and never accept defeat!" "I know my soldiers and will always place their needs above my own!"

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